Alexanda and Matt celebrated their love against the wild beauty of a stunning Cornish garden
Photography: Enchanted Brides
Alexandra Barker, an events stylist and creative consultant, and Matt Holyer, an outdoors pursuit instructor, both 23, held their Christian ceremony and reception at Kestle Barton, in Helston, Cornwall.
Flower budget: £600-£800
Matt and I met at university. We first met during our second week of freshers’ fortnight at a big party hosted by the student union. I lost him at the end of the night, but to my relief, we found each other again at a Christmas party just a few months later.
From the start we knew we wanted an informal, intimate and laid back wedding day. In terms of styling, we decided to go for something simple, earthy, natural, organic and homegrown. Our venue was an ancient Cornish farmstead turned gallery and gardens.
Both pastoral and down-to-earth, yet sleek and simple in its architecture, it was the ideal venue. Plus, it was located just a stone’s throw from Frenchman’s Creek where we got engaged!
I loved the architecture in all of the buildings; The Howthere barn in particular was perfect as a getting-ready space and post-wedding-day accommodation.
The vegetable gardens and greenhouse were the perfect spot for pictures – I think my favourite images from the day are there.
We decided to hold our ceremony between the trees in the orchard; singing in the open air and conducting a tree planting as part of the service. Throughout the day we enjoyed the gallery, gardens and beautiful greenhouse in the vegetable patch.
In the late afternoon and evening, we held our reception in the field, in a clear marquee we picked for its likeness to a botanical glasshouse. We dressed it with hanging candles and dried herbs.
Flowers were 100% important to me. Since we were styling the day with natural elements rather than synthetic, we knew they were likely to be the most prominent part of the décor that we’d have. In our bouquets we prominently featured artichokes. Again, we were after a very earthy, organic and homegrown feel.
One of my favourite moments was the first dance. It wasn’t a part of the day we’d given much thought to, so I think we were both shocked at how emotional it was. We
were the first on the dance floor and the last to leave was the bridal party – particularly the groomsmen!
My tip for brides-to-be: Everything can be improved, so don’t aim for a ‘perfect’ day. Aim for a day that’s perfectly you. Aim for a day that feels like a second skin, like a favourite memory or coming home. You probably already know that people will give you a lot of advice, accept this as graciously as you can, but remember that your wedding needs to feel like it belongs to the both of you.
Steal their style!
FLORIST: The Cornish Cutting Garden VENUE: Kestle Barton PLANNER/STYLIST: Serpentine Shores. Co DRESS: Annabelle by Jenny Yoo, from BHLDN BRIDESMAIDS’ OUTFITS: Skirts by Needle & Thread; tops by New Look GROOMSWEAR: Moss Bros CAKE: The Cornish Table